4:19 - "But my God shall supply all your need
according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." What does this
verse really mean? It does not say, "He might supply all your
need"; it says, "He shall!"
When Barbara and
I became engaged on Valentine's Day of
1972, we knew in our hearts, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that
our coming together was of the Lord. That for itself was a miracle!
When I told my boss and all my friends that I was getting
married, I shocked the daylights out of them; they did not even
know I was going with a girl. As a matter of fact, I even
surprised myself how everything developed so quickly, but when
you have the Lord as Host and Manager of your life, you just have
to stand by and marvel at the way He works!
We had a great deal of good Christian people who gave us all
kinds of advice and reasons we could not afford to get married.
Humanly speaking, they were so right—we could not! Neither of
us had any spare cash. Since Barbara's parents were
living over one hundred miles away, and since she was a preacher's daughter
with no money, we both had to learn to trust wholly in the Living God to supply
our needs. We also learned to put Hebrews 11:6 into practice, for it says, "But without faith,
it is impossible to please Him." We really had to learn to believe
that "He is" and that "He is a rewarder of them that diligently
Well, the word got around very quickly that we were getting
married. I got kind of worried and my human reasoning got in the
way so many times that I even lost weight over it, but the Lord
had to show me what faith really is.
Barbara was working as a church secretary
in Lorain, Ohio, where she had been employed for two and a half
years. Some friends told her of a girl who had a wedding gown, so
she asked her if she would consider renting her gown for that
special day. To Barbara's amazement, the gown fit her perfectly and
she was honored to have it loaned to her free of charge! That was
our first blessing.
There are so many things you have to take care of in planning
for a wedding. To save money, I wrote my sister in Switzerland
and asked her to buy the rings over there and send them to us. We
really got nervous when they did not come as soon as we expected
them, but we believe the Lord just tried our patience. When they
finally came, we were relieved and so happy to see that the Lord
was on the move. Much to our surprise, my sister mentioned in her
letter that the rings were a wedding gift from her and her
Among other things, we had to choose our wedding invitations. My friend, who is
a professional printer, told us he would sell us some at a good price. Being
a Child of the King, I believe in going first class, but when Barbara looked
at those invitations, she must have been on "Cloud Nine," because she picked one of the
most expensive prints. Yet again, we could see the Hand of the
Lord working. Two weeks before our wedding, my friend said, "My
wife and I have been wondering what we could give you as a
wedding gift and we decided to give you the invitations!"
Then we started to look around for a wedding cake; the prices
we saw almost made us run! One evening, a Spanish friend of mine
told me that his friend was a baker, so we went and asked him
what he could do for forty dollars. The funny part was that the
baker did not even know us, but my friend explained that we did
not have much money, so he offered to pay twenty dollars out of
his own pocket and make us a cake for two hundred people. As you
can imagine, we really rejoiced over that!
Now, the next day, we received a phone call from a lady I had
met at a prayer meeting nine months previous. Barbara and I
picked up the extension phones and listened as she told us that
she heard we were getting married and that she was a professional
caterer. She said the Lord had laid it upon her heart to bake us
a wedding cake!! We were so surprised that neither of us could
talk for a minute. Then I caught myself and asked her if she
realized how many people we were expecting. She said she was well
aware of that fact. We immediately called up the baker and
canceled the other cake, rejoicing in the Lord as we did so.
Many times we got so worried over things which seemed impossible in the natural
and even tried to "help the Lord out,"
but the Lord really began to teach us things. It seemed that
every time we went to a church, the preacher would preach from
the text of Matthew 6:25-30. Obviously, the Lord was trying to
tell us something. This happened for about a month and a half.
The funny part was whenever we even turned the radio on, the
preacher took his text from Matthew, chapter six; so we knew
without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord wanted us to trust Him
The church in which we were to be married offered to pay for
the altar flowers and loaned us their kneeling altar and also all
the candles we needed. More than that, to our surprise, when
Barbara went to pay for the rest of the flowers, the pastor's
wife came running and told her that the church had already taken
care of all the flowers!
Since our wedding was in the morning, we had to make
arrangements to feed all the people and also put out-of-town
guests up overnight. We really began to get shaky, but then we
remembered—trust the Lord!
Rev. Ross, who is the Teen Challenge Director,
was very kind to let us have the "Koffee Haus" as a
reception hall if we promised to have it cleared for the "Koffee
Haus" session in the evening. Since a caterer was beyond our
budget, we asked a few ladies if they would like to prepare the
food. They were more than pleased that we asked them; about ten
different ladies donated not only their time, but also all the
food! The variety was great; it included baked beans with
frankfurters, different kinds of sandwiches, salads, desserts,
coffee, punch, et cetera. You name it and we had it! It was like
Three ladies volunteered to stay behind during the wedding to
decorate the place for the reception. From being in the
professional restaurant and hotel business, I can say, a caterer
could not have done such a nice job. There was that warm,
personal touch behind it all.
Since there were not enough chairs, we had to think of renting
some, but again the Lord came on the scene and answered our
prayers. A man came and donated just enough chairs and tables two
weeks prior to the wedding. My best man told me he never saw
anything like it—neither did we!
Before I forget, we had to have a blood test for the marriage
license. A doctor, who was a good friend of mine, gave it to us
as a wedding gift. This same man also put Barbara's
parents up overnight. It seemed like the
Lord made us get married!
Two ladies from the church made three shawls for the
bridesmaids and one special one for the bride; all were custom
made! Also, the flower basket for the flower girl was decorated,
filled with flowers, and loaned to us free of charge!
We knew that if all the people we invited would go to the
reception, they would have a parking problem, so I asked the
funeral director across the street from us if we could use the
parking lot for our guests. He said that I could if he did not
have any funerals on that day. God saw to it that we got the
parking lot. It was quite a miracle, because he never let anybody
else use it before.
Since our wedding was not a sad occasion for us, we arranged
some gospel music and lots of spiritual food from the different
ministers who were present.
Our photographer was also a miracle sent from God. Since he
had no studio of his own, his prices were very reasonable. He
arranged a beautiful album of twenty-four, size 9 x 12 pictures,
at approximately one-third the price of a regular photographer!
To top it off, we went on our honeymoon to
Kelley's Island in
Lake Erie, a beautiful resort area. Living quarters, including a
kitchen, bathroom and bedroom were rented to us for a whole week
for only thirty dollars! No one can believe us when we tell them
the price we paid. The groceries for that week were given to us
by Teen Challenge.
We can truly say that God is still a God of miracles. People in
the world shake their head when we tell them, but we know in Whom
we have believed!
Added on April 17, 2019:
With all that happened to us while preparing for the wedding, we came to the point where we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we HAD to get married or we'd be out of God's will.
The miracle wedding story goes further. Get this! Two weeks before meeting Kurt for the first time, I had come to the point in my life where I could no longer bare the loneliness. It seemed like every time I went out in the car alone, I would wind up crying, feeling so lonely. So I cried out to the Lord in desperation, saying, "Okay, Lord. You know how much I want to serve you. I have given my life in full-time service to you." (This was after graduating Bible school. I was now living with a retired missionary, serving in full-time ministry on a church staff.) I said, "Either you take this loneliness from me so I can minister effectively to those around me or you send me a husband!" And just to put a punch in my point, I added, "And, Lord, I don't care if you have to send me someone from the other side of the earth. I'm NOT going chasing after anyone." To prove my point, I wore my grandmother's engagement ring to keep any wrong guys away.
Well, two weeks later, a mutual evangelist friend brought this guy to church from the other side of the earth (Switzerland). He and pastor brought him over to where I was playing the piano for altar service, to introduce him to me, saying, "Hey, Barbara. This guy would make a good husband for you."
My face turned blood red. I was so embarrassed, I wanted to crawl inside the piano! "The nerve of them, trying to tell me what God wanted for me!" I thought to myself. Besides, this guy looked like he'd been around the block a few years and was even graying along the bottom of his hairline. I figured he'd probably already been married and had kids running around somewhere and being a Teen Challenge graduate, there was no telling what kind of a life he'd lived. Worse yet, he was a foreigner with a funny accent. Of course beforehand, they made sure he sat right up front, directly under my nose and, for sure, had him come to the platform to give his testimony.
A cupid move like that only drove me further away. I knew God didn't need anybody else to work out his plan for my life…or at least I thought I knew. Because the very next day, as I was walking through the sanctuary to go up into the mimeograph room to run off the church bulletin, I was drawn to the place in the front pew where Kurt had been sitting the night before and fell to my knees sobbing, being flooded with a heavenly, overwhelming assurance that this strange man would one day become my husband. It was such a sacred moment, I didn't tell anyone about it. Being as thick-headed as I was, God saw fit to bless me with a second experience of overwhelming assurance as I was at the altar praying another time, several weeks later. That time, I broke out in laughter that everyone could hear. (Now, mind you, that was long before the laughing revival hit!)
You see, I was the youngest in my family and had seen my older siblings experience horrid relationships. I wanted no part of that. I promised God that I would marry no one without my father's AND pastor's one hundred percent approval. Kurt was shaking in his boots over that thought when he learned the story of the previous suitor Dad put through a 3-hour interview which sent him off into an all-night tizzy where he wanted to commit suicide afterwards! I had to spend the night praying with that guy, cooling him off so he wouldn't do something stupid. (By the way, he did make it. Today he's a missionary, married to a different Barbara. He just had the wrong Barbara. LOL!!!) The story gets juicier when you understand my dad was a formidable, retired NYPD veteran with a really screwy NYC accent. The only thing he was missing for that interview was his nightstick!
Okay, so about a year after we first met, I brought Kurt to Dad because it was his turn for the infamous interview with the ex-cop. Dad looked up from the kitchen table and said, "I don't need to interview him because he's the perfect guy for you." What a confirmation! I hadn't told Dad how God had already assured me two times that Kurt would be my husband.
Next, we headed to pastor's office. Now, if you thought Dad was a tough one, you just hadn't met Pastor Smith. It was like he could see straight through people and he had no qualms telling them what he thought about them. He'd already shown many people the door. He didn't mince words and wasn't one to mess around with anyone. Well, it happened again. The only words out of his mouth were, "Barbara, I don't need to interview this guy. I already know he's the right one for you." So, you see, I like to tell everyone we HAD to get married.
Then the cupid evangelist told us he could only fly in two months later to marry us because that was the only opening on his calendar. Both of us were working in full-time ministry, me at the church and Kurt at Cleveland Teen Challenge, so that left us barely any time to "plan" a wedding. Instead, God miraculously threw it all together. I was "paid" so little working at the church, leaving me no money for a wedding. Kurt was "paid" $10 a week, working at Teen Challenge, his parents were divorced and living overseas, totally unable to help, and my parents were in full-time ministry, totally unable to help. We sat back in amazement, watching God work one mind-boggling miracle after another.
Over and over again, as the wedding day grew closer, it seemed everywhere we turned, whether in church or on the radio, we'd hear a preacher reading from Matthew, chapter 6:
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
We had a packed house at the wedding with about 300 guests. There was such a powerful presence of the Lord that our little, 3-year-old ring bearer started to cry. Kurt reached into his pocket, as we were kneeling before the minister, and handed the little boy his handkerchief. Later, when the boy's mother asked why he cried, he told his mother he felt God there. There was a message in tongues, crowning the service with God's Presence.
To put the icing on the cake, a prayer group of ladies (whom I didn't even know) put out a basket they called "Mario's basket," to collect donations to help send Kurt to see his parents who hadn't seen him since he'd found the Lord. We wound up flying to Switzerland for a second honeymoon just before Kurt returned to finish Bible school where I earned my Ph.T. (putting hubby through). It was a dream of a lifetime! I was still the age where I could fly using the special Youth Fare, which was dirt cheap in those days.
I love telling these stories because they boost people's faith but mostly boost my own faith. We need to remind ourselves of God's faithfulness, just like David encouraged himself in the Lord because, in our human frailty, it's far too easy to forget all the things the Lord has done.